Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian mother who was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning, is still alive, for now – saved by an international outcry of revulsion against state barbarism. But the story isn’t over. She’s still on death row. Once the heat dies down, the regime may simply choose to hang her, instead.
“This regime has taken so many lives,” says Maryam Namazie, an Iranian human-rights campaigner who now lives in London. “There’s got to be a time when it stops.”
The Tabriz prison where Sakineh is locked up contains 200 other death-row cases, according to Ms. Namazie. Thirty-five are women who face death by stoning. One is Maryam Baagherzaade, 25, who has been in jail for the past four years. Her execution has been postponed because she got pregnant while on a short leave from prison. The regime usually waits to kill pregnant women until after they’ve had their babies.
Then there’s Azar Bagheri, 19. She was 14 when she was forced into an unwanted marriage. Her husband later pressed charges against her, claiming that she didn’t love him and that she had had a relationship with another man. She was arrested, convicted of having sex out of wedlock, and sentenced to death by stoning when she was only 15. She has been subjected to mock stoning on two occasions – buried up to her chest and threatened with death unless she co-operated. The death-row inmates include children, adolescents and 18 people who... >>>
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